The year is nearing its end, and with it, brings many changes. The start of a new year is especially important for those entering the next stage in their lives; a.k.a. students who have just left school and are preparing to begin their higher education and/or enter the workforce.
It could be confusing and difficult, having to pick one particular field to invest your time, energy and resources in, especially when it could shape the rest of your life.
While finance is not always the first option for most individuals, this is a field with immense potential. Sri Lanka, in particular, is ready to welcome a new generation of finance professionals to help lead the country towards an economic revival in a post-pandemic era.
With the local stock market showing great promise, Sri Lanka moving up higher in the Ease of Doing Business Index—whilst aiming to be in the top 25 by 2025—and the Port City project nearing completion, the country can expect a surge in employment opportunities in the finance sector, buoyed by increased foreign direct investments and new opportunities beyond its borders.
So, here are five reasons why a career in finance could be your best option.
It Never Stops Changing
Finance is an ever-evolving and globally in-demand industry that experiences dramatic advancements constantly. While commonly regarded from the outside as a monolith, finance is actually quite a diverse field.
With rapid digitalisation taking place around the globe in a post-pandemic era, technology, too, has been catalysing the field, leading to exciting new areas to learn about, upskill in, and conquer. With finance expecting huge integrations with tech and AI in the future, there is great potential for transformation.
If you are an individual who gets bored easily doing monotonous tasks, there is always room in finance for you.
New Opportunities Are Always Popping Up
Finance presents endless possibilities both within and across borders in terms of career paths. Expansion is a concept deeply intertwined with the industry, and companies across the world are always on the lookout for finance professionals across diverse job roles.
This means that pursuing a career in finance could lead you to exciting opportunities and places that are rarer for those in other fields.
For those who wish to network, expand their borders, learn about and experience new cultures, finance could be a good gateway to achieving that goal.
Up For A Good Challenge?
If you are someone who needs a challenge for your brain to keep up with the day, there are many options in the finance world that would require dedication, creativity, and very specific skillsets to keep the ball rolling.
The whole industry is set on high speed, and if you fit the bill, you might just be in for one of the most exhilarating rides of your life. Every finance job role today requires good problem-solving skills, and this could be applied to everything from the largest, riskiest of obstacles to minute day-to-day tasks. If you like things fast-paced and challenging, this might be a good option for you.
One Of The Most Stable Fields
Even before the world entered this post-COVID ‘New Normal’, financial professionals were indispensable. Without them, businesses would lose out on insights into vital strategies, investments, budgeting, and more. Without their input, businesses would find it difficult to determine optimal expansion routes, product and service performance, general direction, and future objectives, which are vital to keeping businesses in operation.
But the good thing about the sector is that finance professionals will never go out of demand, so there is always an opening somewhere as it is a unanimous requirement in any industry. Additionally, finance jobs have been proven to be quite lucrative. If stability is what you are looking for, finance presents an excellent opportunity.
Ideal For Self-Improvement
Finance might seem like a cold and logical field that deals with numbers, statistics, facts and figures. While that is partly true, finance is also a great tool through which you can improve yourself, including your interpersonal skills, networking, and more.
For example, stakeholder satisfaction is a big part of the industry, and while technology has played a significant role in altering the customer service model and communications of businesses all over, meeting client expectations is even more crucial than before. You would be required to do better due to the ease with which such communications can be done, and creating positive experiences and building long-term relationships with clients and customers is key.
In order to succeed in finance, you would have to become a well-rounded individual capable of taking on both the personal and impersonal aspects of your job, pushing you to grow and be better.
How Do You Get Started?
Starting a career in finance might seem like a daunting task, but it is not. The most important thing to do before entering the finance world is to obtain a reliable qualification that gives you the knowledge and skills you need.
Unlike science, you do not need an extensive background and decades of study to make it to a good position in the finance sector. In fact, regardless of your current job scope, even if you currently work in an unrelated field, or are a student who had, for example, opted for the science stream, you can always pick up a finance qualification that would help you transition across fields seamlessly.
Broad certifications or specialisations like ACCA are considered good supplementary qualifications for those looking to enhance their careers or enter finance and climb their way up.
Is Finance Really For You?
While the finance industry is open to anyone who has the drive and passion to step into it, it seems the sector overall has yet to be fully understood by the average citizen.
For example, the low financial literacy rate in Sri Lanka, which is 35% compared to an average of 65% in more developed economies, is a cause for concern. Additionally, Sri Lanka currently has the highest gap between print literacy and financial literacy in South Asia.
In a study, it was noted that undergraduates from the non-business majors showed an average financial literacy level of just 42.83% out of 100%, while their knowledge on the investments was just 28.16%.
This can be addressed with better education and access to skills training. Be it in the personal, public or corporate spheres, learning about finance could be a good ally even in the most turbulent of times.
On the other hand, as a career path, with clear progression routes, diverse roles, healthy wages, benefits, and assurance of stability, finance is an industry that would best serve those looking for a challenge or to create a career that could open doors anywhere.